Rev. Ralph G. Landis, Jr., 94, of Berlin, a retired associate member of the Western PA Conference and a former missionary, returned to the Lord on Oct. 5, 2017 at Meadow View Nursing Center.
Born Oct. 7, 1922 in Brothersvalley Twp., son of Ralph Sr. and Anna Grace (Queer) Landis, he was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Judd, Levi, Ray, Myron, Devon, Paul, and Robert; sisters Jane Hosken and Phoebe Lutz-Hosselton; brother-in-law Charles Hosken; sisters-in-law Ruby (Dively) Landis, Barbara Alice (Scurfield) Landis, Julia (Guise) Landis Read, Leota (Raupach) Landis, June (Coughenour) Landis, and Betty (Benning) Landis; nephews Jeffrey and Larry Landis, Terrence Raupach, and niece Belinda Landis.
He is survived by sisters Ruth Kammer of Florid, and Geraldine (Guy) Raupach of Glencoe; sister-in-law Mary (McQuade) Landis, and a host of nieces and nephews.
He was a 1941 graduate of Berlin Brothersvalley High School, a 1942 graduate of Thompson Business School in York, and a 1970 graduate of Lee’s Junior College, Jackson, KY. Ralph worked with Westinghouse Electric in general accounting, manufacturing and tax accounting from 1942 to 1963. From 1963 to 1965 he worked at Riverside Christian School in Lost Creek, KY, as a farm manager, superintendent of building and grounds, work supervisor, and assistant business manager.
He established Gospel Light Mission in Watts, KY in 1965 and served as the pastor, youth leader and Sunday school teacher until 1971. He also looked after the physical needs of people by taking them to doctors, hospitals, and grocery stores.
During his time at Gospel Light Mission he began his ministry studies under the United Methodist Church, and in 1969 was ordained as a Deacon. In 1971 Ralph traveled to Hazard, KY as a community developer under the Board of Missions of New York and Kentucky. This involved ministry with senior citizens, state park services, those with disabilities, day care, a TV program, and a youth in two churches.
He pastored churches in Bedford County, PA from 1973 to 1977. In 1973 he was sent for three weeks to visit mission stations in Liberia, Zaire, Zambia, and Kenya, Africa. He served as a missionary in Zambia from 1977 to 1979 and in Sierra Leone, West Africa from 1980 to 1982. He was pastor of Guam United Methodist Church from 1984 to 1986.
Ralph returned to Berlin in 1986 and served as Chaplain and Director of Clergy Services at Maple Mountain Manor Nursing Home until 1991. From 1991 to 1994 he served with the Salvation Army in Somerset.
In 1989 he published his autobiography entitled “Go Ye Therefore”.
Pastor Ralph filled in at 25 churches in Somerset and Bedford Counties from 1986 to 1998 for pastors absent or on vacation. He preached regularly at Roxbury United Church of Christ and Rayman Church of the Brethren.
He was a volunteer with the Retired Senior Volunteer Program since 1986, accumulating over 17,000 hours as follows: Chaplain at Meadow View Nursing Home, Salvation Army, Special Olympics in bowling and winter sports, visited hospitals in Meyersdale, Somerset, Bedford, Johnstown, and Cumberland, Berlin Food Pantry, and visited nursing homes, personal care homes, assisted living homes, and many family homes on a regular basis. He received recognition for volunteering from PA State Senate and President of the United States Award for over 4,000 hours of volunteer services.
Funeral services were held Monday, Oct. 9 at Berlin Brethren Church with Rev. Tom Sprowls and Rev. Donald Cook officiating. Interment Berlin I.O.O.F. Cemetery. Contributions may be given to Berlin Food Pantry, P.O. Box 86, Berlin, PA 15530.
Arrangements were by Deaner Funeral Home, Berlin.